tv This Week in Northern California PBS April 26, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT
debate is raging around governor jerry brown's sweeping proposal to change how school districts are funded as he pushing back against critics. >> this is a cause for the children of california and a cause for our own future. >> in the wake of the boston marathon bombing, a call for more security cameras for san francisco's market street. drawing concerns for the civil liberties groups. and the keystone pipeline across the center of the united states could expand in the california area. and an interview with haurz dennis herrera. >> you need to know what is going on at city hall. >> coming up next.
gauntlet this week and calling it a civil rights issue. >> the state is turning into a . those at middle and bottom are doing worse. >> jill, boil it down for us. what are the main points the governor is proposing in the plan? >> what the governor wants to do is make a complicated funding system simpler. instead of giving money to schools on old formulas and not teaching and what they need, he is saying let's give everybody a base amount from $6,300 to $7,200 depending on the grade level. you will get more if you have students that are more difficult to teach and they have more issues and they need more time
and attention. it is a fairly simple system on the face of it that says if you have these kids, this is how much money you will get. >> the thinking is the extra money will be used for more teachers or tutors? what? >> you know what? the benefit of this proposal according to the districts is they get to decide. there are a lot of restrictions on how the money is spent. i equate it if you want red carpet, you get the red carpet money. otherwise you don't get that money. this plan and the governor wants to put local control back in school districts and let them decide if they need more tutors or do they need more teachers? do they want smaller class sizes or do they want more computers? >> doesn't that raise a red flag? is that a good idea? >> you know, for years, we have
been under the system that the federal government and the state government and state legislature knows how to teach the kids of california. class size reduction. if you want the money, you have to do class size reduction. the districts and schools had little say in how they taught the students or what they did with the money. now we're swinging back the other way where we're saying we don't trust sacramento to know what the districts need. a kid in bakersfield who needs to learn english is a different student than a chinese student in san francisco. >> he is getting push backs from the state senator. what is their concern? >> interestingly, we have a super majority in both houses. he is getting push back from his own party on this. what we're hearing from the state senate, they want to wait a bit. they feel this is rushed. they want to wait a year.
they want more accountability in the system. they want to see the money spread out more among the districts. they want all districts to get more money because they are saying there is low income kids in all districts. the governor's plan gives more money to districts that have a lot of low income or english learning students. they want to spread the money out a bit more. the governor is saying no. you are diluting the money. he has put his foot down loudly this week and said bring it. >> you have to love him. he has nothing more to accomplish. he is perfectly willing to have a fight. what are his chances of pulling this off? >> he is saying i will fight until the bitter last day. the legislation is saying we can override your veto. it is testy already. it is so early in the process. they just started debating this
and they are already fighting. >> if you are a suburban district and looking at the system, you may worry. i don't have as many kids in that category or that category as some of the other districts. will i get short changed? is that a legitimate gripe? >> the governor is saying nobody will lose anymore money. they get as much as they have now and they will not lose money. you will see some districts getting $3,000 more per student. i think what they are saying, wait, we had all these cuts. just because we have more advantaged students doesn't mean we don't have needs. >> could you have strange alliances here where some will support the plan and some who have poor kids in the district and then palo alto or whatever it may be. is that happening? >> it really is.
in the assembly, you had two legislators squaring off in one of the hearings. you had oxnard legislator saying this is great. a lot of my poor districts will get more money and you have the san ramon legislator saying this is not good for my district. they are very much looking how this is affecting my schools and you are seeing them battling it out. >> quickly, we have the may revise coming up. this is all part of the budget. he will come out with a more revised plan in a couple of weeks? >> he basically hasn't tipped his hand how much he will change initially proposed. their thinking is some tinkering with it. i don't expect to see a major revise on this plan when he comes out with may numbers. >> first big fight with jerry and his own party. interesting to see that. the boston marathon bombing
investigation has demonstrated the role of how it can play with private cell phones or security cameras. san francisco police chief greg suhr wants to beef up security along market street. not everyone is happy about that. chuck nevius, what is the debate about? >> this is interesting to see how it plays out. there has been a great change in surveillance and cameras. cameras have come up in front of stores and store fronts. those have been useful. i think most people are fine with that. every time a law enforcement officer proposes a sweeping larger style of camera, we get push back. >> what is the difference? >> it is haphazard. we are trying to get the police department to get businesses to put cameras out on the street. there was a push at one point to
have anyone that sold liquor be required to install a video camera in front of their business. there was push back on that. the majority of the businesses do have them because it is a good thing and it is safe and it helps them and feel better. it is between being mandated and having it happen. >> the civil liberties people -- they have issues with it because it is a before/after thing. the cameras they have now at liquor stores and what they used in the boston bombing, they were looking at them after the fact. we have cameras in schools. if we have graffiti, they see who did it. he is proposing that during the bay-to-breakers and drug the gay parade and the world series parade in the future, we have cameras that we are monitoring live. we are not looking at it after the fact, but reviewing it and looking for people who might commit crimes. the civil liberties people are
saying that is taking it a step farther saying we have cameras to review later. >> that is what they have in chicago. a manned camera system. someone with a joy stick and he is zooming in and out. they established cameras in high-crime areas if they see a suspicious car. they zoom in on the license plate. gavin newsom at the time said we will not do that. >> what happened to that? >> they have not worked well ougat all. >> it became such a debate in 2006. he proposed the cameras. it was a civil liberties debate and they put so many restrict n restrictions on them. they cannot move. they are grainy. they have terrible stop action. a car could do from here to here and not be recorded. you cannot access the tape unless a crime has been committed and you know what you are looking for.
those have been useless. the cameras on businesses have been helpful. >> is this supposed to prevent bad things from happening or once it has happened, you can catch? >> yes. that is right. jill is right. it is the here and now of it. there is one thing that i have not thought of. scott weiner came out with cameras in front of liquor stores and clubs. he said people are living in the castro who are not out. they may be recorded going into a gay club. who knows where that video goes from there. >> there are no gay clubs on market street. >> this was in the castro with the idea of cameras on liquor stores. the point is ramifications. you don't know how far it will go. the amount of video we got from boston was terrific in one sense and terrifying. >> i will say that, just after 9/11 and as it is this time, it may be very different debate. people are nervous.
they saw what could happen. you know, you start hearing interviews. people are saying i'm cool with the civil liberties thing as long as they are protecting us. >> it could go the other way as well. we had the incredible mass of video being generated within a few hours of the bombing. not even hours. the explosion video was posted 45 minutes after the incident. >> the video was from lord & taylor. >> people may look at that and say clearly we have a lot of this going on right now. let's just leave it where it is and see how it works. >> two quick points. nobody has more trouble with bombings than england. england has surveillance cameras everywhere. the second thing with the available everywhere, they misidentified suspects. you have to watch that. you get way ahead of yourself. that is a problem. >> a hearing at the police
commission next week. >> it is a charged issue. >> thanks, chuck. the keystone xl pipeline through the heartland to the gulf coast of texas has been criticized by environmentalists, but another pipeline project from canada would have a greater impact on the west coast is getting very little attention. david baker, tell us about that one under the radar. what is it and why should we be thinking about it? >> it is under the radar here, but not in british columbia. a pipeline called trans mountain. it is actually pretty old. about 60 years it has been there. it goes from edmonton northern alberta across the mountain ranges and off on a couple of ships. the owners want to triple the capacity. it can carry about 300,000 barrels of oil or products per
day. they want to get it up to 890,000. keystone, if that extension is built, it will be 830,000. this will be bigger. >> unlike keystone, no additional pipelines through the united states? >> no, there wouldn't. that changes the political dynamics a bit. the proposal for the company to install a second set of pipes next to the first one that sit on the same route on the same right of way. there is right now a little spur off that pipeline that crosses over the u.s. border and goes to the refineries in washington state. the company that is proposing this, being smart, has decided not to add anything to the spur. the u.s. government has absolutely no say in this project. the environmentalists here cannot put pressure on obama because obama can't do anything about the line. >> that oil is dirty oil relatively so. would that limit how much can
come into california to a refinery? >> possibly. the oil that is coming through, there are several different products coming through that line. a lot of it is stuff called diluted bit. bita bita bitamet. it is what you find in the oil sands of alberta. you have to heat it up and dilute it with something else lighter to get it to flow. that stuff basically behaves a bit differently if it spills than regular old oil will. in terms of coming into the state, some of it already does. we have about 2.4% of our oil in california from that pipeline. but we do have a law on the books now that is going to force refineries to cut the carbon intensity of the fuels they sell in the state. they will have to do that by
blending in bio fuels into what they sell. if they get more of the stuff from the tar sands, which is pretty greenhouse gas intensetive, generates a lot of carbon, that could be a problem. >> this thing was new to me. it sounds like yucky stuff. is that the future of oil? is it fracking or tar sand? do we have to find other ways to deliver oil? >> we passed that point several years ago actually. if you look at the production in the united states, all of the production is coming from fracking mostly from north dakota and texas. that is light oil compared to this. this is the other end of the spectrum. this is very, very heavy stuff. you have to have special refineries to process it. we have those in the state. >> it seems like it is in canada. we can go, not in my backyard
directly, but there are concerns of the emissions. also at the port where they will have the number of ships coming in times ten to ship all of the oil that is flowing. the united states could be concerned about the oil spill close to the northern border with this yucky dirty stuff? >> the number of tankers thatiss expected to go through the harbor is 5 to 40 a month. that is affecting the politics in canada. the party that is in the lead to basically take control of british columbia next month, they have come out strongly against another pipeline proposal and just in the last week, they come out against this. >> who wants the oil? where is the demand? >> we here in california used to rely a lot on alaska for our oil. they at one point supplied half
of all oil we used in the state. if you look at oil production figures from alaska, they are tanking. they are going down badly. we're down to the point where it is 12% of what we use. >> oil in alaska? >> the north slope production is tapering off like any oilfield. while the rest of the country which is getting all of the fracked oil from north dakota and texas, the less of the country is less dependent. california is becoming more. >> what about china? >> china would be interested in this. this type line expansion, if it goes through, will give canada's oil industry what it wants. an unimpeded conduit. >> thanks for putting the spotlight on it. an old saying that it is not what you know, but who you know. in san francisco politicians that can translate into insiders getting quick approval for pet projects without having to
report their lobbying. now, san francisco city attorney dennis herrera is teaming up with board of supervisors president david chiu to strengthen rules and disclosure and lobbyists and other city hall power brokers. earlier today, i talked with city attorney herrera about his proposal. good to see you. >> good to see you, scott. >> ethics. why do we need the disclosure rules now? >> i think san francisco has been a leader with sunshine transparency. you need differing laws for different times. the laws we have had on the books based on the experience of supervisor chiu and i that we needed updating. >> what has changed? some complaints have been around for a while. >> i think because based on the shared experience and what you hear and what you see through
experience since the last round of changes, you see there are loopholes and gaps. there are things you can do to tighten them up which will inspire confidence in the public about the integrity of the government. i think everybody wants transparency. >> whenever you hear we have to tighten up ethics, you think there is corruption. >> i don't think from is necessarily corruption, but there is certainly complaints from people when you go around the city about a certain opaqueness and while people are not violating the law, but there are people who have special access or inside access and anything that can inspire access. you have an equal opportunity to do something. that is a good thing. >> is it fair to say one of the big loopholes you want to close applies to attorneys who are not
required and do not disclose when they are lobbying on behalf of a client? >> absolutely. that is one thing we closed. if you look at the law prior, it said a lawyer who is conducting business doesn't have to report. now it is tight and the lawyers who are involved in potential or actual litigation that don't have to report. it will deal with lawyers in the other context. >> it is widely reported that one attorney who would have to disclose is willie brown. he is someone affected by this? >> he may or may not be. i don't know what mayor brown's practice is. he hasn't had to require to date, but he as any other lawyer, myself if i was out in private practice or actually out lobbying city officials and was in potential litigation, that lawyer would have to register. these laws were not designed for any particular individual. it was really to look at shared
experience we have in san francisco and also see what best practices are in place in other cities and jurisdictions to make sure we are doing the best we can. >> fair to say san francisco is behind other places like los angeles and san diego? >> in certain respects. chicago, san diego, los angeles, they have things promote greater transparen transparency. >> we have less transparency than chicago? >> we do. the lawyer exception comes out of chicago. we learned how chicago does things. there are things you learn from other jurisdictions. that is what we are trying to implement here. >> one of the issues here is permit expediters. people in the building inspections and permit process is a mess in san francisco. you don't have to talk to many people to find out or people who did work on their home and they get stuck in the rules with delay. why them? what is it about the work they do that you feel has to be more disclosed and open?
>> i think you hear what we have gone through. you see what what happens when we get a permit. we should not have to have permit expediters to allow us to work on our house. you should get a permit to do an improvement. >> in most places you can. >> there is a perception that you need a permit expediter and they have some special influence. he has expanded the reporting and what has to be reported. >> permit expediters and attorneys and willie brown. you and david chiu ran for mayor against ed lee being supported by rose. what would you say this is payback by two guys who lost to ed lee? >> nothing could be further from the truth. i can tell you mayor lee and myself and others, we wanted to do whatever we can to inspire confidence in the public for what we all do at city hall.
these were things that are systemic. david and i have been working on this for t-toghen months to come up with a scheme that everybody can be confident in. >> i want to ask you about another issue this week. alleged patient dumping by nevada into california and other states. what do you hope to get out of the investigation? >> i think everybody can agree if you are an elected official that the conduct we read about with the nevada-based hospital is deployable. i'm expecting within the next week or so they will respond to my first round of public records request and we will get documents and see how many patients were put on a one-way ticket on a greyhound bus here to san francisco. if i determine there were taxpayer dollars, we will seek retribution from nevada. >> they announced the change this week. they will have chaperons on the
buses. they will not be on their own. is that an admission of guilt? >> i think what you have seen from thents coming from nevada from the governor. he admits this was occurring and we will get to the bottom of it. >> city attorney dennis herrera, thanks. >> thank you, scott. >> this update. earlier today, authorities threatens to terminate the provider of the hospital in question in nevada. that is all for us tonight. thank you for being here. you can go to kqed.org/thisweek to catch up and look at past episodes and share your thoughts and story ideas. i'm scott shafer. i'll see you next week. thank you for watching. good night. have a great weekend.
gwen: the latest on the boston bombings. the news -- the shaky senate and george w. bush's legacy. tonight on "washington week." >> whether it's al qaeda, the fatah or two twisted perverted cowardly knockoff jihadis here in boston. why do they do what they do? gwen: two weeks later, still sorting through the why's and the how's behind the boston terror attack. while no worries spring up abroad. this time in syria. >> the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in syria. specifically the chemical agent sarin. >> i think it's pretty obvious that red line has been crossed. gwen: yet another democrat abandons the senate. why other democrats are getting nervous.